A Profit-Centric Look at Content Marketing 

If you’re not making money from your content marketing, you’re doing it wrong. Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi is clear on that point.

“Marketing, in its truest form, was meant to be a profit center,” he explains in a recent article “The Only 10 Ways to Make Money from Content Marketing.”

Pulizzi breaks it all down into what he calls the Media Marketing Revenue Model. “Basically, any organization that builds an audience from its content can generate revenue (and profits) in 10 different ways,” he notes, sorting them as either direct revenue and indirect revenue.


As we dissect each of these methods of making money with content, one thing will stand out to magazine media brands: they are in in the perfect position to leverage several of Joe’s 10 strategies. Publishers already understand the importance of advertising sponsorship revenues (#1) and subscriptions (#5). Yet the power of indirect revenue is sometimes overlooked, especially for brands that are not already big print publishers.

As Joe explains, “Of all the revenue drivers…keep or loyalty revenue is the oldest of them all, and is still extremely important today. Organizations of all sizes originally launched print magazines to keep the loyalty of their customers over time.”

He cites the LEGO Club Magazine, launched in 1987 and still popular today, as a good example of the kind of loyalty building content (#8) that keeps customers coming back and buying again.

“The magazine allows kids of any age to receive targeted content that’s relevant to them in a fun, portable format. As an extension of its LEGO Club offering (one of the biggest and most popular children’s member clubs in the world), LEGO worked hard to improve its magazine product in 2011 with more cartoon stories of the LEGO bricks in action, better integration of customer photos, and some awesome in-store programs at LEGO store outlets and its new Master Builder Academy.”

Another indirect strategy is to grow revenue from existing customers (#8). As Joe explains, TD Ameritrade’s thinkMoney publication leverages customer data to deliver targeted publications that create “better” customers over time.

“thinkMoney reaches more than 200,000 active trade customers and, according to surveys, the average customer engages with the magazine for 45 minutes or more per sitting. More than 80% of readers take some meaningful action after reading and those subscribers who engage in the publication trade five times more than those who do not,” Pulizzi notes.

Marketing, and in particular content marketing, should ultimately be working toward one goal: making more money. In a multi-channel marketing environment, print still figures prominently when it comes to making marketing count.